Cross-promotion is beneficial to all parties involved providing free, targeted and quality lea
If you have a business that sells pens, it’s only natural that you cross promote a business that sells erasers. Simple, isn’t it? Well, not so much. The problem with cross-promotion is that, like any kind of promotion and advertising, it sounds a bit putting-off to people. If you’ve ever been on Quora or a similar forum, you’d understand just how much people absolutely hate being spammed advertisements, and cross-promotion is no different.
At the same time, it’s a crucial tool that can help you attract customers and engage your audience at an extremely low cost way – where the only thing you’ll be giving up is your time. This is why you need to approach cross-promotion in a creative and more subtle way where you can provide your customers real value to have them coming back for more.
Here are 3 ways you can use cross-promotion for your business without putting customers off and driving your products down their throat.
Give Away Free Knowledge
Here’s a rule that all businesses and all people who want to cross promote a brand need to follow: give something away for free. This doesn’t mean that you need to give samples; actually, it’s a whole different mentality, and it’s where the business blog comes in (if you’re running a blog – Google Authorship is a great way to do that by the way!). Blogs are the perfect platform through which you give away knowledge and expertise for free. You write entries around your favorite subject, you answer readers’ questions and give them advice, all while keeping them up to date with your business using cross promotion.
If you’re trying to cross-promote another business’ product, the best way to do it is to have that person write a guest post or several. Why is that? Well, people react better when they are
given advice and value before they are marketed something. (This is a good time to mention, this entire discussion revolves entirely around Gary Vaynerchuck’s recent book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook“If you introduce your business partner as a blog guest who can offer valuable insight to your readers, those people are more likely to trust and respect him or her. Especially when the guest
post has a great following and is an expert in their field.
When you gain the trust and respect of an audience, they will be more engaged and willing to buy things from you (and anything you decide to cross promote in the process). Therefore the important thing to remember is that you don’t achieve the power to push products to followers when you don’t have a following. These days the fact of the matter is, everyone wants everything for free. So if you want their attention….give it to them and they’ll stick with you for a nice long time. Another fantastic person who does this very well is my good friend Chris Green with his ‘Scanpower’ group on Facebook which provides endless knowledge and tips for free for his users and followers.
Run an Interview or Webinar
In addition to a guest post, let your audience get to know the person and company behind the products you are promoting by doing a cross promotional interview with that person byrunning a well planned and
strategically planned webinar. Just refrain from asking questions like, “can you tell people why your product is so great?” and instead ask more personal questions—how did this person get into the business? What were his or her biggest challenges? What inspired him or her to create this product?
These are questions in which you associate a product with a person and ultimately reach cross-promotion. If it’s a good and compelling interview, people will see that it is a quality product.
A video interview uses a similar psychology to that of the guest blog post, only it’s a bit more personal because viewers get to see the face and hear the voice of a person. One of the biggest reasons why ads fail is because they fail to make a human connection.
It’s also the reason why you want to punch those spammers who leave comments on your blog like, “Nice blog post. Buy Viagra now!” Ain’t nobody got time for that – we’re running a business here. But let’s be clear, we’re not looking for a ‘click’ we’re looking for serious, thick, REAL engagement (blog post coming up about that soon!). we only want people that follow, like and interact with your product/service or brand.
Give Away a Free Product
The first piece of advice you were asked to give away was free knowledge and expertise. Here, your strategy should be to give away a free product that you’re promoting or alternatively a supplementary good which will give you the opportunity to upsell your more expensive product, e.g. Giving away 2 rolls of tape with a new tape dispenser. You can even turn it into a contest for readers and existing customers, for instance, it can be something along the lines of “the first ten people who sign up for my webinar this week will get a free watch (or whatever it is that you’re promoting – fantastic for cross-promoting).
Essentially you want to reward people just for being your customers and buying your services, and the way you reward them is by giving them the opportunity to try something new or exclusive. If anyone follows the Melbourne nightclub scene they’ll realize that a lot of promotions are done like this using Facebook where they ask their fan page to ‘Like & Tag a Friend‘ on this
week’s flyer to go into the running to win a $50 Bar Tab + Free VIP Access for the night. This isn’t a cost to the consumer but encourages cross promotional marketing through the virality using
The most important thing to remember when cross promotion is involved… or marketing anything is to simply not annoy/spam your customers. The only way to keep people constantly engaged and willing to purchase or recommend your services is if they feel they get a deeper value from them. This is why establishing a personal connection with you customer base and audience is so crucial to be able to follow through on cross promotion.
Like we said before – we want REAL engagement. That’s where you’ll really see results.